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any man-made textile fibre produced from the plant substance cellulose. Developed in an attempt to produce silk chemically, the fibre was originally known by such terms as artificial silk and wood silk, but in 1924 it was given the coined name rayon. An anitrocellulose type of rayon, first produced commercially in France in 1891 in the form of a nitrocellulose fibre, was later discontinued because of its high flammability.